Tim Tszyu is set to take on Aussie great Jeff Horn in the biggest fight of his career in Queensland, but his father and boxing icon, Kostya, will be on the other side of the world.
Tszyu is unbeaten in 15 fights and will start favourite against the former WBO welterweight champion, who has dropped down from middleweight to take on the 25-year-old.
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But few have seen his father, a world champion and boxing Hall of Fame icon, at any of the rising star’s fights.
“My dad supports me no matter what, from where he is,” Tim recently told The Sydney Morning Herald.
This is because Kostya will most likely be at home in Moscow, Russia.
More than 30 years ago, Kostya moved to Sydney from Russia to launch his professional career with his fiance, Natalia.
After moving to Sydney with a gold medal and a promising reputation from the 1991 world boxing championships, Kostya turned professional.
Kostya debuted on the undercard of another famous Aussie boxing great Jeff Fenech.
He won his fight in 70 seconds.
In 1993 his career was moving quickly after debuting in the US and marrying Natalia.
But Kostya admitted foreign life was difficult and his family was adapting.
“She was very homesick and lonely. We argued a lot and she cried many times. We could not speak English and it was hard even to shop. We didn’t even know how to use a bank,” he said, according to News.com.au.
The man, known as the Thunder from Down Under due to his ponytail and gold tooth, went on to win his first world title in 1994 and Tim Tszyu was born in the same year.
But, despite being able to afford a three-storey waterfront house and a Bentley, Kostya remained steadfast.
“Family is the most important thing in my life. It’s what I’m fighting for,” Kostya said back in 1997.
Kostya fought his entire career at 140 pounds and became one of the biggest names in boxing in the late 90s and early 2000s.
The champion retired with a stunning record of (31-2, 25 knockouts).
Retirement toll on Tszyu family
In 2005, Kostya fought and lost his last bout against British great Ricky Hatton. The fight was stopped in favour of the undefeated fighter, but the two embraced at the end, signalling Kostya’s end.
After retirement, Kostya, wife Natalie and their children moved to Moscow.
But with children missing life back in Sydney, they returned back to Australia.
However, in 2008 Kostya returned back to Moscow after it was revealed the family had split.
Kostya met his second wife, Tatiana Averina, and they married three years after leaving his family.
They live with their two children, Aleksandr and Viktoria, on the outskirts of Moscow.
Natalie claimed in an interview with The Daily Mail, Kostya was never really in their childrens lives, he recently said he had been in contact with Tim.
“Me going to Russia has never broken any bond or any relationship with Tim,” he told The Courier Mail recently.
“I can’t say we chat every single day, but we are father and son. We are on the phone and we communicate on WhatsApp. I love him. I am such a proud father and I will always be proud of Tim.”
But it is clear, come Wednesday's Queensland Country Bank Stadium clash which is Tim Tszyu's first big arena experience, it won’t affect his performance not to see his father at ringside.